Conference Keynote Address

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica

Edmund Bartlett was born in Westmoreland on December 3, 1950 to Alexander Rudulf Bartlett and Olivia Lawson-Bartlett. He attended St. Elizabeth Technical High and the University of the West Indies.

An active Member of Parliament for more than 22 years, Mr. Bartlett has represented the constituency of East Central St. James since 2002. During that time he has also served as Opposition Spokesman for Tourism, earning the respect of Industry players in both the private and public sectors for his active participation in and thorough knowledge of the sector as well as for sound judgment and fair play in all commentary on its development.

Minister Bartlett comes to his new appointment with a track record of service as a legislator in central government in both chambers of the House, in the Upper House as a Senator, and in the Lower House as a Member of Parliament, the position, which he currently holds. He has served as Minister of Youth and Community Development as well as Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and Culture in a previous administration of the Jamaica Labour Party in the 1980s.

His professional career spans several positions including Senior Accountant-Revere Alumina Jamaica Ltd., Vice President-World Conference on Cultural Policies and Vice Chairman-U.N. International Youth Year Advisory committee. He counts his tenure as Marketing Sales Manager-Texaco Caribbean Inc. immediately preceding his entry into representational politics as perhaps some of his most valuable years in the private sector in preparing him for his current assignment.

Address delivered by Ms. Patricia Samuels

For the past year, the Ministry of Tourism of Jamaica has been working assiduously to execute initiatives that promote, develop and enhance the country's tourism product. The Ministry, focused on marketing, product development and investment, to keep Jamaica in the forefront of Caribbean destinations.

In executing these key areas, a strategy for sustainable tourism development in Jamaica is created and aims at developing human resources and talents within the industry, and instilling a sense of pride in the country. Under this phase, three programs were introduced: “Spruce Up Jamaica Entrepreneurial Fund,” which is a special program to provide technical assistance and financing for small properties and enterprises; the 'Tourism Service Excellence' program, geared towards promoting excellence within the sector; and the 'Spruce Up Jamaica' Youth Summer Program, an initiative to enhance the overall visitor experience and provide employment for young persons. All programs put the people of Jamaica at the centre, since tourism involves all Jamaicans and all Jamaicans benefit from tourism. Tourism drives the economy of Jamaica.

The main aims of the “Spruce up Jamaica” programs is to enlighten the mind and psyche of the Jamaican people to the value of a clean and beautiful environment, and engage communities in the kind of action and activities that give value to Jamaica.